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Spotlight on Vitamin C for the skin
from LaCrista News, Vol. 3, Issue 2

Our mission is to convey the latest research on skin care. All information provided is from an unbiased Duke University study by Dr. Pindell.

Vitamin C Physiology Vitamin C is not synthesized in the body. It must be provided by diet Body stores are limited by control mechanisms which allow amaximum of 1200mg to be absorbed daily. The half life of Vitamin C is 10-20 days, so aftert three weeks Vitamin C is gone in the absence of furtheringestion. Vitamin C is a major anti-oxidant in the body and is important in mcollagen synthesis.

Topical Vitamin C We have added a stable aqueous formulation of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) to complement the LaCrista skin care line. It absorbs large amounts of Vitamin C into the skin. The formulation delivers more than 20 times the amount of Vitamin C found in normal skin. These levels cannot beachieved by diet and are pharmacologic levels.

Photoprotectant Topical Vitamin C is capable of protecting skin against ultraviolet light exposure. It is equally effective against UVB (290-320 mu) and UVA (320-400 nm). Indeed, it appears to be wavelength independent. It is clearly not a sunscreen; it has no ultraviolet absorption spectra in thesetested wavelengths. We believe it is photoprotective because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Anti-inflammatory Topical Vitamin C is protective even when it is applied after photoexposure. It is capable of controlling the inflammatory response associated with ultraviolet exposure (sunburn).

Reservoir Effect Topical Vitamin C becomes an inherent part of the skin. It cannot be washed or rubbed off. Our testing shows that it is fully protective as long as three days after application.

Speculations

When skin is exposed to ultraviolet light, our measurements show that two- thirds of the ascorbic acid in skin is destroyed. We believe that ascorbic acid's role as an anti-oxidant is essential in protecting the skin from oxidative damage produced by ultraviolet light exposure and the associated inflammatory reaction. It is believed that this oxidative insult (generation of oxidative-free radicals) results in damage to other skin constituents including collagen, elastin, proteoglycan, as well as cell membranes and nuclear constituents. In time it is believed these changes may result in connective tissue breakdown (aging and wrinkles) and skin cancer.

By providing pharmacologic levels of ascorbic acid which we can target to skin by topical application, we hope to interfere with environmental oxidative insult.

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